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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Sustainability aspects of milk production in Sweden

Krizsan, Sophie J.; Chagas, Juana C.; Pang, Degong; Cabezas-Garcia, Edward H.


Resource use efficiency and economic initiatives point towards using less human-edible input in ruminant food production. This could also promote the nutrient-rich dairy products to consumers in comparison with alternative plant-based drinks. The global population is growing and food production will need to increase to feed more people in the future. The Swedish government has launched a national food strategy, which aims to move Swedish food production towards self-sufficiency and sustainability, and greater exports. Simultaneously, strong economic development has stimulated consumers to request more high-value foods, such as meat and refined dairy products. At the same time, public opinion states that today's food production from ruminants is negative for the environment and contributes to climate change. This review assesses some aspects of dietary ingredient composition and feeding choices that can contribute to making Swedish dairy production more sustainable. Efficient dietary methane mitigating strategies can decrease emissions of greenhouse gases in line with European Union targets and avoid major changes in dietary consumption patterns of meat and milk from ruminants. Although feeding management seems to be the most important approach to decrease nitrogen losses, rational use of fertilizers and improved manure management practices on dairy farms should also be considered to decrease the impact of nitrogen losses to the environment.


agro-industrial by-products; dairy production; food production; grass; greenhouse gases; resource efficiency

Published in

Grass and Forage Science
2021, Volume: 76, number: 2, pages: 205-214
Publisher: WILEY

      SLU Authors

    • Krizsan, Sophie Julie

      • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Chagas, Juana

        • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG2 Zero hunger
      SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Animal and Dairy Science

      Publication Identifiers


      Permanent link to this page (URI)